Upper South

May, 2010
Regional Report

Keep Adding Annuals

Most likely, you planted most of your annual flowers weeks ago, but why not add a few more? Garden centers still have a wide assortment available, and there are bound to be spots throughout your garden where some extra color this summer would really make the area "pop." Fill in among perennial beds and borders, and set out lots of pots on the deck or patio. Be sure to try some annuals you've never grown before.

Attend Garden Fairs and Tours

This is the time of year when local botanical gardens and groups have garden fairs and tours of private gardens. The fairs offer an opportunity to shop for a wide variety of plants and garden accessories in one place, while the tours always provide lots of ideas to incorporate into your own garden. Be sure to take a camera and a notebook.

Trim Chrysanthemums

If your hardy chrysanthemums have gotten leggy and fallen over in previous years, then try cutting back the stems by one-third. Do this now and again in July. This effect of this is to have shorter and bushier plants. The only downside is that they will bloom just a bit later than they usually do. The reward of having gorgeous plants covered in blooms is well worth the effort.

Move Houseplants Outdoors

The fresh air and bright sunshine of summer is good for houseplants, just like it is for us. Now that all danger of frost is over, it's the ideal time to make the move. Remember, though, that plants can sunburn, too. The best location is one with light shade, such as under a big, open tree. Try to choose a day or, even better, a series of days with clouds, which will also give them time to adjust to the brighter light. Check the plants often for watering needs and fertilize regularly.

Use Chive Blossoms

The beautiful mauve blooms of chives are one of the special delights of the spring herb garden. The spherical bloom is actually made of lots of little flowers. Separate these and sprinkle them on salads, sandwiches, and soups. Or, stuff then into a jar and then fill the jar with white wine vinegar. Store in a dark place for several weeks, then drain the vinegar into bottles for luscious salad dressings.

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